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KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74 reminds us that ke aloha o ke Akua allows us to be redeemed if we just mihi, repent for the wrong we have done, and encourages us to share that aloha with all we meet.

Ash Wednesday: Mihi for life

March 2, 2022

Nā kahu o Kamehameha have created a series of Hawaiian-focused devotionals for the season of Lent, to honor the deep Christian faith of KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop. The devotionals were designed to be used by students, staffers and others to celebrate the coming of Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 2 and ends on Easter Sunday, April 17.

Heluhelu Baibala
Bible reading

A manaʻoʻiʻo akula nā kānaka o Nineva i ke Akua, a haʻi aku i ka hoʻokē ʻai, a hoʻokomo lākou i ke kapa ʻinoʻino, mai ka mea nui o lākou a ka mea ʻuʻuku o lākou… A e hoʻūhi ʻia nā kānaka, a me nā holoholona i ke kapa ʻinoʻino, a kāhea ikaika aku lākou i ke Akua: a e huli mai kēlā kanaka kēia kanaka mai kona ʻaoʻao hewa mai, a mai ka hana ʻino mai, ka mea ma loko o ko lākou lima. ʻO wai ka mea e ʻike, e huli aʻe paha a e mihi ke Akua, a e huli aʻe, mai ka huhū o kona inaina mai, i luku ʻole ʻia kākou? – Iona 3:5, 8-9

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them… But every person and animal must be covered with sackcloth; and people are to call on God vehemently, and they are to turn, each one from his evil way, and from the violence which is in their hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent, and turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.” – Jonah 3:5, 8-9

He manaʻo o ke Kahu
KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74

Ash Wednesday marks the start of ke Kau Kalema, the season of Lent, and our march to the Easter cross, the symbol of death and of life. It is through Iesū’s mōhai (sacrifice) that our sins are forgiven if we just mihi, repent for the wrong we have done. During the Ash Wednesday service, the kahu would apply ashes (made from the palms used in the Palm Service the year prior) to the forehead of the worshipper, saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We are mortal people with an end to our earthly life, yet our heavenly life awaits, if we mihi.

Jonah was tasked with calling the people of Nineveh to mihi, to repent. Though the call was from ke Akua, he didn’t want to do it because he knew that ke Akua was a gracious God and if the people repented, God would forgive them of their sins. So, he tried to flee in a boat headed in the opposite direction from Nineveh. No one can outrun the reach of God, and he was brought to Nineveh where he spoke his prophetic word. The people heard the call and repented. Each person and animal covered themselves with sackcloth and dust. And their lives were spared. Though the people repented, Jonah was not filled with joy. In fact, he grumbled against God and went off to sulk, for he had no compassion for the people. 

This Lenten Season, let us truly mihi by throwing on the “sackcloth and ashes,” signs that we are penitent for the wrongs we have done.  Let us recognize that ke aloha o ke Akua allows us to be redeemed no matter what others may think of us. May we have the passion, and compassion, to share that aloha with all we meet, for that is what believers are called to do.

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